30124636, Corporal Callum Griffith, 1 R WELSH
Cpl Callum ‘Bud’ Griffith was a member of D (Fire Support) Company, 1 R WELSH. North Wales was home but, having joined in March 2010 Cpl Griffith had a busy career, dedicating himself to the Army and his Battalion. After completing basic training at ATR Winchester in August 2010, he moved to the Infantry Training Centre (Catterick) for his combat Infantry training, before posting as a Rifleman to A Company, 1 R WELSH in April 2011.
In more than a decade of service, Cpl Griffith had deployed on multiple Armoured Infantry exercises in the roles of Rifleman, Mortarman and Assault Pioneer. These exercises took him throughout the United Kingdom and, for significant periods to the continent, exercising throughout Germany. A master of his chosen trades, he was a superb Mortar ACPO, responsible for the accurate provision of close-support fires; and was an outstanding Assault Pioneer, leading a Section in intimate battlefield engineering support to the wider Battlegroup. In addition, he was an Urban Operations Instructor, delivering excellent lessons on operating in the urban environment.
Such was his expertise he was twice deployed in key roles on operations. On Operation CABRIT 2, he deployed as a Mortar ACPO, providing specialist skills to the Battlegroup during the Army’s first winter tour in Estonia. Deploying to Estonia again in the face of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, on Op CABRIT 10 he was placed in charge of a Section of Assault Pioneers attached to B (Rorke’s Drift) Company of the 1 R WELSH Battlegroup. Notable for leading his soldiers on attachment outside of his own Company, he did so with aplomb and complete professionalism. His Section was most certainly a force multiplier under his fine leadership.
There is universal agreement Cpl Griffith was one of the hardest working, most determined individuals in his Company. Diligent to a fault, he was often seen in the office before his soldiers and long after they had finished for the day, such was his commitment to them. As the de facto Platoon Sergeant for the Assault Pioneer Platoon, he planned and ran training for the betterment of both his soldiers and those of the wider Company. He would simply not stop until the job was done, regardless of how long or hard the work was. In addition, he was a calm and empathetic leader, with charm and an infectious humour that his soldiers and the wider Company gravitated towards. Indeed, one soldier will remember him as ‘the big, friendly giant,’ with another stating ‘Bud lifted the mood of a room by his sheer presence.’ His stories were of legend, often lengthy to the point people forgot the initial premise, they were full of humour and delivered in his calm and dry fashion. A great junior leader, he was always the first to volunteer for jobs and he had the inherent flexibility to make reactive changes to work that comes of someone supremely though quietly confident in their ability.
Cpl Griffith was a keen gym attendee too, going with his pals every day and keeping fit. Furthermore, he boxed for his Company, showing the fearless and determined edge always bubbling under the surface.
His outstanding work ethic and professionalism as a soldier and junior leader are only a snapshot of what defined Bud. His contagious personality made him a joy to be around, and he cultivated close friendships within and without the Battalion, with one such friend stating he was, ‘the gel’, that held people together. Both in work and outside of it, he provided many with a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen. Ultimately, he was a caring and lighthearted soul, who brightened up the lives of those he lived and worked with.
Cpl Griffith’s ability to combine the utmost professionalism with a keen sense of fun were in the highest traditions of his Regiment. A true Welsh Warrior, this loss is a huge blow to D Company, the Battalion and the wider Regimental family. To lose a good person and excellent soldier in such difficult circumstances is hard to bear, and devastating to many. The world will seem a dimmer place for his absence. However, in the finest traditions of his storied Battalion, his memory will be honoured and, in time, Welsh Warriors will smile again, knowing the world was a better place for Bud’s presence.